Monday, 11 February 2008

My Heaven Will Certainly Have a Library

My first love was my mother and father, my second love was my siblings (8 sisters and 4 brothers), and my third love was books or paper.  I have disappointed or been disappointed by my first two loves, but never by my third.

My Mom with her keen eye spotted my love of books at an early age.  One of my first memories involves the Sears Christmas Catalogue.  I would know of its arrival by my Mom calling me to her room where she would show me a shiny magazine, wrapped in its delivery paper or plastic. The ritual had started.

Journey back with me to a 4-year olds memory, to a simpler time and a Christmas catalogue.  I would be allowed to climb up on her bed, my Mom would plump up the pillows and put the blanket on my lap, I would get handed the magazine unopened, I was allowed to open it (this was probably the only time I was ever allowed to open anything besides my Christmas presents or a door).  My Mom would just about walk out of the room when she would suddenly turn and tell me that she forgot to give me some of her medicine (a piece of Black Magic chocolate  -- there sure was magic going on in that room at that time but it certainly wasn't black magic), she would present the box and I was allowed to pick any one I wanted. Mom would slowly shut the door and I was left to my own little heaven on a bed in a bedroom that we were never allowed in, with a chocolate in one hand and the catalogue in the other.  I think I have just described my first Crush.

I remember being 7 years old in Grade 2 and my Mom always letting me read my older brothers and sisters books.  I especially remember reading a Grade 5 English Book that had lots of stories in the one book.  Crush No. 2.

On and on and on; books and books and books.  

When I was 15 or 16 I read a series of books from a French writer that were translated into English.  These books were about a steamy, sulty, sexy, brave, intelligent, kind, adventurous woman named 'Angelique'.  I loved the character and I loved the name, not of course as much as I love my own Angelique, but you get the point.

I wish I could take credit for Nadalene's name too, but I can't.  Wahid named Nadalene after a girl he liked at grade school in Trinidad.  I absolutely love the name.  At first I kept thinking he meant Magdalene or even Natalie, but no he meant Nadalene.  I had never heard it before.  But now it is one of my favourite names.  It sounds like music to me.

I can take credit with Wahid in naming Nathan.  If we had a boy we wanted a strong name.  At the time I was reading what some people call the greatest book of all (Bible).  I remember exactly what was going on when I spotted the name.  Angelique was at school, Wahid was at work, Nadalene was home from kindergarden and was dancing around the rec room, while I was sitting in a brown checked chair watching her dance and sing, and reading the bible on the sly whenI saw the name.  I told Wahid and we both loved it.  Not of course as much as we love our own Nathan, but you get the point.  By the way, Nathan is NOT short for Nathaniel.

So as you can see two out of three of our children's names came out of books.  Crush No. 3.

I have probably over the years read thousands of books, averaging three books a week.  In many ways I have read books rather than lived an active life.  That is probably more bad than good, but it is what it is.

When I was diagnosed with cancer I stopped reading for enjoyment.  I had 'The Time Traveller's Wife' on my nightstand for over a year.  Finally read it for my bookclub.

It would seem appropriate that someone who's name came out of a 
book would buy me books to kick start my reading again.
Books that would help me live with my diagnosis.  Books that would inspire me.
Thank you Angelique.

The first book Angelique bought was 'Cancer - 50 Essential Things to Do' by Greg Anderson.  This book helped me journal out so many feelings.  It gave me so much insight and some quotes that empowered me.  Such as: "A spiritually toxic outlook after a cancer diagnosis can make a difficult situation a living hell."  "Treatment is effetive." and "Be a tough-minded realist using a just-think-positive approach to find solutions. Look for why I can do things; not why I can't."  Journalling with this book was an incredibly healing process.  I highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with cancer or trying to understand cancer.

Angelique bought me 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle.  I had first heard of this book from one of my very favourite people (Elizabeth).  This book really just confirmed how I was already living.  I would recommend this book to anyone.

Reading these last two books certainly was not Crush No. 4, however what they did for me is what I enjoy the most about reading.  They made me think.


angelique said...

I really loved this post, one, because I didn't know about the Sears catalogue and I love that story of both you and Grandma (she is amazing and I see where you get it from). Two, because I know where I get the reading on the sly from and three, because it is so you. It was like you were talking when you wrote it. Love you.

Anonymous said...

My Dearest Renee:

Once again, I am brought to tears as I sit in my office so far away from you, and I too remember the chocolates and the Sears catalog, funny, I kinda remember coming into the room and disturbing you, sometimes you just called mom (and I had to get out)and sometimes you just let me in, I remember climbing up and being so proud, I always felt your love. Yes, we have had disapointments in our life as we have grown up, but you know, dispite the hurts inflicted on each other, I can't really recall any of them, I thank God for the good memories, keep writing, I love you so much, JUST HATE the CANCER...

Mickey said...

You are so right about the Sears Catalogue I can remember we all got a turn to look through it I am talking the Christmas one and we went through each page and said I want this and this and this and this for every toy there was. What a great mom we have. Funny how this is such a special time it shows it doesn't take much to occupy someone if you show it with love. You are not only a great writter I know you are a great reader that is why you are so smart and good at trivial pursuit like a certain someone else [ sorry Jacquie}

Deborah said...

I love your stories about your family. You have such a strong writing voice. So wonderful to read...not one extra word...everything is essential. Did you know that there is a web site that can make your blog into a book! Love, Deborah